A Russian mercenary with two prior homicide convictions was reportedly asked to address a group of young teenagers at a public school in Ukraine this month, as per media reports on Thursday. Alexander Raspravin, a Wagner soldier and machine gunner who recounted his experiences during Russia’s nearly two-year campaign in Ukraine, was welcomed as a community hero.
Raspravin was photographed in a seventh-grade classroom in Vyezdnoye, a town 400 kilometers to the east of Moscow in the Nizhny Novgorod region, while fully camouflaged.
A rocket-propelled grenade was the focal point of the class discussion while other pupils watched it intently and one even tried to hold it on his shoulder.
“[Raspravin] spoke about living conditions at the front and the importance of the support of ordinary citizens,” the school said in a social media post on Oct. 5.
The online news source Govorit NeMoskva, whose article appeared on Thursday, was the first to make public a post that had been on the well-known social network VKontakte for two weeks.
“Raspravin spoke about how he had rescued 16 of our troops from captivity, how he himself was wounded and received combat awards for that,” the school added.
The seventh-graders had a great time during Raspravin’s visit, according to the school’s VKontakte page.
NeMoskva’s report states that Raspravin was given a 12-year prison term in 2017 for repeatedly beating a guy during an argument while intoxicated and punching him 40 times.
According to Mediazona, an independent news website, he received a six-year prison sentence in 2010 for fatally attacking his grandfather. Currently unknown is the outcome of Raspravin’s involvement in another legal proceeding involving serious bodily harm.
Up until the Russian Defense Ministry took over the administration of jail recruitment in early 2023, the Wagner Group recruited prisoners to fill the well-known personnel gap during the conflict in Ukraine.
The public believed that the Russian convicts who died in Ukraine had atoned for their sins, according to President Vladimir Putin, who is rumored to have personally granted mercy to these recruited prisoners in exchange for their duty.
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